Worcester Teacher Tests Positive For Tuberculosis

WORCESTER (CBS) — Approximately one hundred elementary school students and staff at Quinsigamond Elementary in Worcester are being told to get tuberculosis tests this holiday season.

An unnamed teacher there apparently kept working even after she learned she had the illness.

WBZ Radio’s Carl Stevens reports.

The woman tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis in October and then had a confirmatory x-Ray in November. But she only told school officials here of her illness late last Friday night.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports from Worcester.

School leaders are quick to point out that they do not know if the woman’s doctor told her it was acceptable to continue working.

That’s a distinction that does not seem to matter much to many parents here, a lot of whom are furious this woman kept teaching.

More from Carl Stevens
Comments

One Comment

  1. Allen says:

    I wonder … The teacher knew s/he had a highly communicable disease, failed to notify the school, and put kids in danger. I wonder if the teacher will be disciplined, fired, or charged with child endangerment.

    It is one thing to accidentally spread an illness. It is another to knowingly expose children to the disease.

    1. Charlie says:

      TB is not really all that communicable. It usually takes several months of exposure to become infected with TB.

  2. Charlie says:

    I worked at as TB investigator for the state of Virginia in the 70’s. We tested school teachers routinely. About 10% were positive for TB infection, which is normal for the population in general. There are many people walking around infected with TB who do not know it.
    This teacher is only infectious if she has an ACTIVE case of TB – and her doctor would have told the school officials if she had an active case. Very few people who are infected with the TB bacillus ever go on to have an active case of TB. This station and the school are doing the teacher a disservice by not letting people know that there is a vast distinction between carrying the TB bacillus and having an active case of TB.
    The parents really have nothing to worry about. The school could have done a better job of informing parents of the situation, but they seem to have done what is best otherwise.

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